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Apr 2017

Cover the Earth | The Sound of Heaven

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. – Habakkuk 2:14

Let me be an instrument, to exalt, and to extend
Jesus’ name, globally, as the waters cover the sea
Open the heavens, O Lord, pour out Your Spirit

Cover the earth with Your glory, cover the earth with Your glory
Cover the earth with the sound of heaven

Let me speak what You say, let the sound prepare the way
Kingdom come, globally, as the waters cover the sea
Open the heavens, O Lord, pour out Your Spirit

Cover the earth with Your glory, cover the earth with Your glory
Cover the earth with the sound of heaven
All of the earth is Yours, all of the nations adore You
Cover the earth with the sound of heaven, cover the earth

Open up the heavenlies, let a new sound be released
As the waters cover the sea, cover the earth

Cover the Earth by Israel Houghton, Meleasa Houghton, and Cindy Cruse-Ratcliff.

Click here to read Part 1 of our look at Cover the Earth.

As we continue to look at this new song we are singing, Cover the Earth, we want to make sure we understand what exactly it is we are asking God. Previously, we talked about the implications of God’s covering the earth with His glory in the past and in the future, but what does it look like for us to long for this and see it in the present? What does it look like for us to see God’s glory – His name, His greatness – extended out to the world that we live in? A world that is plagued with evil and injustices (terrorism, the murder of children and innocent people), but even more so, a world plagued by the presence and power of sin?

The verses of this song tell us that we aren’t simply confined to longing for and hoping in God’s coming glory; rather we’ve been privileged to participate in the extension of His glory throughout the world. Because of God’s glorious work of redemption through Jesus – who lived perfectly in our place and died as a sacrifice for our sin, God’s spirit – who raised Jesus from death, now lives in and quickens all who trust in His finished work. Because of Jesus, God has poured out His Spirit on us, empowering us to be his witnesses throughout the earth – witnesses of His grace, His power, and His love – and as His witnesses, God now works in us and through us as we participate in the work of spreading the news of His plan of redemption for all creation. Many of us often refer to it as the Great Commission – the instructions given to us by Jesus to go into the world and make disciples of all nations – spreading the good news of God’s coming Kingdom into this world.

And it’s for this purpose that we are God’s instruments, both individually and corporately – as we speak, sing, and shout this good news to the world. This is our worship – and this worship that we give to our great God, both congregationally and in our daily lives, it is the sound of heaven that this song references. It’s the sound that is grounded, not in the present realities of suffering and sin, but in the eternal reality that God is victorious through the cross of Christ. It’s the sound that His Kingdom has been brought in and will one day regenerate the entire creation. It is the sound that can be heard from the voices of God’s people in Revelation 7 as people from every nation, language, and people
group sing “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” This is the sound that will prepare the way for the glory of God to cover the earth.

Finally, this is a prayer, a petition to God to bring His righteous kingdom to earth. We are asking Him, as Jesus instructed us to pray, to “let your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”. As Psalm 145 says, because of God’s glory and His great works, all of His people will bless Him – by speaking of the glories of His kingdom and talking about His power. As we sing, we can know that God’s glory will cover the earth as we proclaim the good news about Jesus to all the world. Take a moment to read Psalm 145 and Revelation 5:

We will exalt you, our God and King, and praise your name forever and ever, for Jesus is worthy of all our praise! For he was slain, and by his blood he ransomed people for you from every tribe and language and people and nation, and he has made them a kingdom and priests to you, our God, and they shall reign on the earth. One generation shall commend your works to another, and will declare your mighty acts. We will speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and we will declare your greatness. We will pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! We will speak of the glory of your kingdom; we will give examples of your power. We will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign. For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and you rule throughout all generations. To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever! – Psalm 145:1-13; Revelation 5:9-13

Rayshawn Graves

Click here to listen to the audio from Rayshawn Graves during the 9:00 a.m. service on Sunday, April 9th, 2017.

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